Director: Tim Johnson
Starring: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez
Plot: An alien on the run from his own people after making a terrible makes friends with a girl. He tries to help her on her quest to reunite her with her mother, but can be an interference with her plans.
Director Tim Johnson (Over the Hedge, Antz) has managed to create a movie which is pretty much flawless. Home follows the journey of a young girl named ‘Tip’, voiced by Rihanna, who is trying to find her mother, Lucy (voiced by Jennifer Lopez). Whilst hiding from the Boov, the aliens who have taken over planet Earth and transported all human beings to Australia, Tip encounters the Boov called ‘Oh’ (voiced by Jim Parsons) who she begrudgingly takes with her on her journey, as he is able to fix her broken car and seemingly knows how to find her mother. Although both Oh and Tip dislike one another to begin with, they form a genuine connection by the time they make it to Australia.
A brilliant blend of comedy and real emotions, happiness fills this film. The idea of aliens coming to planet Earth because they are good at running away and feel that they can help the humans because they are dumb seems unbelievable and perhaps typical of the animated movie genre… but Home makes it seem as though anything is possible, with the Boov invading the world and moving all humans to Australia whilst they themselves are running away from the Gorg, an enemy who despite being ‘evil’ are only chasing the Boov because they stole the whole of their next generation. In fact, the Gorg turned out to be a tiny starfish sat inside a monster suit searching for his babies, which speaks volumes of the creativity involved and the positive overarching themes of the story such as not judging a book by its cover. So much passion is portrayed throughout this film; it is clear that the animation crew poured all their hearts into this brilliant yet heartfelt animation comedy. Adding true-to-life situations and a development in each of the characters, such as their growing friendship and the loneliness of an abandoned/orphaned child, really turn this into a film for all ages. The jokes are simple enough for all to understand, yet are not too condescending for adults.
The design of the Boov themselves is excellent. From changing colour based on their emotions (green for lying, pink for love and red for anger) to having ears which are actually noses, the creators seemingly thought of everything. In addition to this, Jim Parsons’ voice is perfect for the role. His ability to change between sad, happy, angry and jealous emotions is impeccable, and his typically off-kilter patterns of speech really do suit the ‘out of this world’ alien visitor. On top of this, his imperfect speech (“I’m in the out now”) adds a hint of cuteness and believability to the Boov’s lack of understanding about human life. It’s not just Jim Parson’s performance which should be mentioned however, as the performance of Rihanna, who voiced the ‘sad-mad’ girl Tip, was also to a high standard. The underlying rage Tip feels for the Boov and the world around her as everything has changed is expressed superbly by Rihanna, and she does a fantastic job of ensuring she portrays the anger and sadness of her character in her voice, though what Tip says isn’t always frustration but instead confusion as to what has happened to her mother and the answer to the question of if she will ever see her again, as well as to how much she cares about Oh, who is the enemy in her universe but seems intent on helping her find her mother and could therefore be worthy of more positive feelings.
Not only does Rihanna create a loving girl searching for her mother and not unrealistic for a character of her age, but the artist also lended her voice to the original music of the soundtrack and was able to sing both upbeat and cheerful songs, yet also sing slow, moving and emotional ballads. All of the songs are used at exactly the right time. They really add something extra that tips you over the edge and fully immerses you in the film. This brilliant mix of talent creates a film perfectly rounded and with a lot of heart that is perhaps only as unpopular as it is because of Paramount’s financial situation at the time of this picture’s release.